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9 out of 10 businesses fail because they do not have the support of a mentor. We know what it takes to get a business off the ground, to build it, to put in the effort and to constantly be frustrated at not reaching the quota. But we also know that incorporating a business mentor is critical to growth and can alleviate a lot of headaches.
Precisely the role of the mentor is to guide you through the dark path until you reach the light of success. They are people with the experience and the necessary disposition to support you to go through the eye of the needle that growth entails.
At INNOVA Marketing Solutions we know that the road to the top is not easy when you go it alone, that's why we will tell you how to find the ideal mentor to accompany you in this business adventure.
What is a sales mentor?
To define mentoring, I will first address what mentoring is. It refers to a professional relationship in which those involved mutually benefit from each other. The experienced person (the mentor) imparts his or her knowledge, experience and wisdom to a less experienced person (the mentee) while honing his or her own skills.
A mentor is someone with years of experience in a specific area, who teaches others using his or her own background. Unlike coaching, mentors do give advice and guidance to take their mentees to a higher level of understanding.
According to the consulting firm Kabbage, 92% of companies agree that their company has grown thanks to mentoring. As well as 68% say they increased their profitability in the first year by including a mentor.
What indicates that you and your company need such support?
Mentors continue the work where managers no longer see an outlet. A manager's office has become that space to get work-related advice. Mentoring, however, takes a broader view and focuses on personal and professional development as a holistic salesperson and professional.
Mentors should be able to offer professional guidance on things like how long to stay in a role, what roles to pursue next, or what hard or soft skills your team should develop to achieve long-term goals.
In addition, mentoring is a good place to go if you need guidance on how to deal with the people on your current team. It may not even be a conflict, but advice on how to interact with them or how to handle a specific situation. Sometimes there are things you just don't feel comfortable asking your salespeople or a colleague about. So mentors can offer you an outside perspective on things like team structure, role responsibilities and revenue potential.
Likewise, mentors can help detect weaknesses and turn them into opportunities. It's okay to accept that your company has opportunities for improvement. What doesn't work is if you don't address them as quickly as possible.
"We want others to respect our intellectual property, so we have to respect others'."
- Jennifer T. Mills, Senior Intellectual Property Counselor
Master inbound sales guide:
Less processes, more sales
Coaching and mentoring are not the same thing. But sales managers and sales reps need both to develop their skills.
The two concepts are often confused. When the reality is that the coach is the one who evaluates the knowledge and practices of your sales team, to know what is wrong in the execution, correct it and promote self-knowledge.
Coaching can show your team why their work is important and give them the practical mastery to execute it. But, it doesn't advise or guide, it only evaluates and corrects. While the mentor provides knowledge along with steps to follow to achieve an optimal result.
>>Sales coaching, mentoring and training: What's the difference?
What should you look for in a Sales Mentor?
A mentor will be someone who will look at your company's business processes from an outside perspective, so you must be able to trust this person. From there, you should evaluate other variables, such as:
Someone influential inside (or outside) your company
No, we don't mean someone with the perfect track record, but someone successful who was able to solve their business problems intelligently in past experiences. If you can think of someone with this characteristic, that should be your first choice.
If not, you could look for an external person who has been influential in your area or industry. Someone with a long track record. You can check out some profiles on LinkedIn or social media. Or look for mentoring programs from robust companies willing to help others achieve their goals, like the ones we have developed at INNOVA Marketing Solutions.
Someone with field experience
The mentor should be someone with whom you develop a unique relationship, and who also has extensive field experience, preferably in your industry.
If he has his own experience, he will be able to guide you with his own experience so that you do not repeat the same mistakes.
Tip: Establish a communication channel
Communication is the foundation of everything. So when you get someone who can be your mentor, you must establish a very clear conversation with what you hope to achieve.
Some questions you can ask him are:
- How did you achieve success?
- Why did you choose sales?
- What things have contributed to your path to success?
Elements of successful sales mentoring to help you move forward on your journey
One of the main keys to finding a mentor is that there must be connection and empathy. You need someone with whom you click and feel comfortable to show all your mistakes and put them on the table. Also, you must accept their criticism and honesty without feeling like they are attacking you. That's never what it's about.
If you are going to invest in mentoring for your commercial area, make sure it brings value through tangible results. In 2019, two partners with international experience at management level and in the field of sales decided to share their knowledge with the common dream of professionalizing the commercial areas of companies in Latin America; thus our mentoring service was born, designed to support you in facing the challenges of efficiency and commercial productivity and achieve your growth goals.